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How to Make Perfect Snack Bars in 6 Easy Steps

How to Make Perfect Snack Bars in 6 Easy Steps

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Packaged snack bars can hide some pretty scary ingredients—make and customize your own at home with this easy guide.

With our easy instructions, you can mix and match your favorite flavors to create your ideal combo. The same formula will get you to snack bar success no matter which nut butter, sweetener, toasted nut, or dried fruit you choose. Store completely cooled bars in an airtight container at room temperature for up to two weeks or freeze up to two months.

1. Create a Base

Eating healthy should still be delicious.

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Toast oats in the oven to give them a nutty flavor. Preheat oven to 350°F. Spread 2 cups old-fashioned oats onto a rimmed baking sheet. Bake until lightly browned and fragrant, about 12 minutes. Transfer oats to a bowl, and cool to room temperature.

2. Add Richness

Creamy nut butter and toasty coconut oil enrich the bars. Liquid sweetener, well, sweetens them. Place 1/3 cup nut butter, 1/4 cup liquid sweetener (such as honey, maple syrup, or agave), and 11/2 Tbsp. coconut oil in a bowl. Microwave 30 seconds or until warm.

RELATED: Try one of our delicious snack bar recipes:

3. Boost the Flavor

Add 1 tsp. vanilla extract and 1/2 tsp. kosher salt to the nut butter mixture to heighten the flavor; whisk until smooth. Whisk in 1 large egg white; it’s a key part of the binder that will hold all the ingredients together.

4. Add Crunch and Chew

Stir 1/2 cup unsalted roasted nuts (or broken-up pretzel pieces) into the cooled oats for hearty crunch. Add 1/3 cup dried fruit (chop the pieces if they are large) for bright, sweet flavor and textural contrast.

5. Mix and Press

Pour nut butter mixture over oat mixture; stir well until all pieces are evenly coated. Transfer mixture to an 8-inch square metal baking pan lined with parchment paper. Press mixture very firmly into pan; packing tightly helps keep bars from crumbling.

6. Bake and Cool

Bake at 350°F until lightly browned around edges, 20 to 22 minutes. Cool in pan on a wire rack 15 minutes. Lift bars out of pan with parchment paper; cool completely on rack before cutting (warm bars might crumble).

Easy No-Bake Granola Bars

Meet my favorite granola bar recipe. These granola bars are delicious and easy to make with basic pantry ingredients. You don’t even have to bake them!

These granola bars can pass as a quick breakfast, and they make a perfect snack. I love to pack these bars for road trips and flights, and I love hearing from moms who make these granola bars regularly for their kids. They’re a big hit with all ages.

As you’ll see, the recipe is versatile, so you can easily incorporate your favorite flavors, like nuts, chocolate and dried fruit. You’ll find my go-to flavorings in the recipe below if you want to follow my lead.

These granola bars have spared me from some hangry moments lately. They’re satisfying, just sweet enough, and stick with me for a few hours. Granola bars to the rescue!

These Homemade Protein Bars Are Practically Identical to RXBars

The recipe is basically right on the package — so we couldn't resist.


Photo by: Nikolay Pandev / EyeEm/ Getty

Nikolay Pandev / EyeEm/ Getty

Ah, RXBARs. We love them for their fun seasonal flavors, chic minimalist packaging and, above all, short and simple ingredient list. They’re just what we need when the mid-afternoon munchies strike, and we feel good about slipping them in our (or even our kids') lunchbox.

Plus, they taste practically homemade. Which got us thinking: Wouldn’t it be neat if we could make our own version? Save some money? Have enough on our hands to eat one — heck even two — a day instead of carrying around a single RXBAR in the bottom of our bag for weeks on end and treating it like gold? (Okay, maybe that’s just us).

And so we started experimenting. Peanut Butter Chocolate RXBARs, a guarenteed crowd-pleaser, seemed like a great place to start. A quick glance at the ingredient list revealed just seven ingredients: dates, peanuts, egg whites, chocolate, sea salt, cocoa and natural flavors — we essentially had our recipe right there. All we had to do was figure out the ratios of each ingredient. Being that we're Food Network Kitchen (read: we've cooked a thing or two in our lives), that didn’t take long.

Peanut Butter-Chocolate Protein Bars, our homemade nod to RXBARS , were born shortly thereafter. Surprise, surprise, they’re made with dates, peanuts, egg whites, salt and cocoa powder (and a little bit of coconut oil for greasing the pan).

First, you whir all of the ingredients up in a food processor to create a paste. Second, you press the mixture evenly into a coconut oil-greased 9-inch square baking dish and pop in the oven for about 20 minutes. Third, chill until firm. Three easy steps — and just 10 minutes of hands-on time.

If you’d like to try creating a different flavor, simply swap in a different sort of nut (like cashews or walnuts), blend in a handful of freeze dried fruit (like blueberries or strawberries) or incorperate an mix-ins like unsweetened shredded coconut. The simple base recipe is a blank slate for your creativity.

The recipe makes 16 hefty squares and lasts for up to 1 week in the fridge in any airtight container (we love Stasher Silicone Reusable Food Bags because they’re easy to grab and go). Anyone else already preheating their oven?

To make this energy bar recipe, you’ll need a large size food processor for blending the ingredients. Here are the basic steps:

  • In a food processor, blend together Medjool dates, pecans, oats, chia seeds, vanilla, cinnamon and salt until a sticky dough forms.
  • Press it into an even layer on a baking sheet.
  • Bake the bars for 30 minutes at 200 degrees, which helps to dry them out a bit and improves the texture so they’re not so sticky.
  • Cut them into bars that are 3 inches long and 1 ½ inches wide.

3. The Sweet Bean Energy Bar

For a twist, Mother Nature Network's ChocoBean Power Bars uses cooked black beans to "add protein and fiber without overpowering the banana and chocolate flavors." The recipe is quick and easy to make, and there's no cooking involved if you use canned beans.

Recipe & Nutritional Info**:** The Sweet Bean Energy Bar

For a twist, Mother Nature Network's ChocoBean Power Bars uses cooked black beans to "add protein and fiber without overpowering the banana and chocolate flavors." The recipe is quick and easy to make, and there's no cooking involved if you use canned beans.

Recipe & Nutritional Info**:** The Sweet Bean Energy Bar

Homemade Breakfast Bar Recipes to Keep You on the Go!

1. Simple Homemade Energy Snack Bar

These raw energy snack bars by The Kitchn are so simple to make all you need to do is gather your ingredients together, toss them in a food processor, and pulse. Packed with omega-3s and protein, this bar will leave you and your family satisfied all the way until lunch time!


  • 1 cup nuts
  • 1 cup dried fruit
  • 12-15 whole or 1 cup pitted dried dates, preferably Medjool

2. Berry Medley Oatmeal Crumb Bars

We love oatmeal bars and with the addition of berries, this recipe is one of our favorites ever! This oatmeal bar by Damn Delicious is sweet, rich, and guaranteed to turn sleepyheads into morning people!


  • 3/4 cup blueberries
  • 3/4 cup blackberries
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 3/4 cup sliced strawberries
  • 3/4 cup whole wheat pastry flour
  • 2 teaspoons cornstarch
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 3/4 cup old fashioned oats
  • 1 large egg, beaten
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • Pinch of salt
  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, cut into cubes
  • 1 tablespoon turbinado sugar

3. Cake Batter Chex Bars

Thanks to maebells, we’ll be able to enjoy dessert for breakfast with these fantastic cake batter bars. Okay, so maybe dessert for breakfast isn’t (always) the best, but with only 5 ingredients, how could you resist not making these? If one bite of these bars don’t make you smile, then you’re probably a robot.


  • 5 cups Vanilla Chex
  • 5 cups of marshmallows
  • 4 tablespoons butter
  • 1.5 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1-2 teaspoons sprinkle

  • Contains 32 - 1.8oz KIND Breakfast Bar 2 Packs
  • Start your day with 100% whole grains, including 5 super grains, coated in peanut butter and soft-baked for a perfect.
  • Contains one full serving of whole grains, providing sustained energy to keep you going

4. Ham and Cheese Breakfast Bars

This homemade breakfast bar recipe by Mom on Timeout is a fantastic, protein-packed treat to start your day. Essentially a ham and cheddar cheese omelet in bar form, this recipe is the best way to ensure everyone in the family starts their day with a delicious morning meal.


  • 1 can reduced-fat crescent rolls
  • 8 oz reduced-fat cheddar cheese, shredded
  • 1 cup diced ham
  • 1 tbsp butter
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • ⅓ cup chopped red bell pepper
  • ⅓ cup chopped green bell pepper
  • 8 eggs
  • ⅓ diced cup onion
  • ½ cup low-fat or fat-free milk

5. Cherry Kuchen Bars

These breakfast bars by Dear Crissy taste as wonderful as they look! This cherry kuchen (kuchen is German for “cake,” by the way) recipe makes moist, chewy bars which can double as breakfast and dessert.


  • ½ cup butter softened
  • ½ cup shortening
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 ¾ cups sugar
  • 1 ½ teaspoons baking powder
  • a 21-ounce can cherry pie filling (or substitute your favorite)
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla

Powdered Sugar Icing:

  • 1 ½ cups powdered sugar
  • ¼ teaspoon vanilla or almond extract
  • 2 to 3 tablespoons of milk (make a drizzle consistency)

6. Peanut Butter Banana Chocolate Bars

These bars bring together the three ingredients every breakfast should have: chocolate, peanut butter, and banana. Rich, creamy and decadent, these bars are perfect for mornings with long days ahead of them. We have to thank Spoonful of Sugar-free for this recipe.


  • 4 large, ripe bananas, mashed
  • 1/2 cup peanut butter
  • 6 Tablespoons ground flax
  • 3 Tablespoons chia gel (mix 1 teaspoon chia with 3 tablespoons water and let sit for 15 minutes so it can “puff up”)
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1/3 cup peanuts
  • 3 oz. unsweetened chocolate, chopped
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • pinch salt

7. Blueberry Vanilla Greek Yogurt Granola Bars

Why buy breakfast bars when you can make ones as delicious as these? Even the pickiest of kids will love this recipe by Half Baked Harvest! Make a batch of these delicious bars on weekends so you’re sure you’ll have a go-to breakfast for weekdays.


  • 1 1/2 cup brown rice Krispies
  • 1/4 cup shredded unsweetened coconut
  • 2 cups rolled oats (gluten-free if needed)
  • 1/4 cup whole roasted almonds, roughly chopped
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • A tablespoon of chia seeds
  • 1/2 cup peanut butter or almond butter (I typically use peanut butter)
  • Half a cup of honey
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1 (rounded) cup fresh blueberries or 3/4 cup dried blueberries

Greek Yogurt Coating:

  • 1 tablespoon water
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 cups powdered sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon gelatin
  • 1/4 cup greek yogurt
  • Pinch of salt
  • 1 tablespoon honey

  • REAL INGREDIENTS: Biscuits are made with almond butter and whole grain oats No corn syrup or artificial flavors
  • WHOLESOME SNACK: Tasty snack with no artificial flavors or colors to keep you going any time of the day
  • WHOLE GRAIN: A good source of whole grain with 14 grams per serving (At least 48 grams recommended daily)

8. Tart Cherry, Dark Chocolate, and Cashew Granola Bars

This homemade breakfast bar by Love and Zest are packed with yummy ingredients such as raw nuts, flaxseeds, almond butter, and cherries. Raw nuts and flaxseeds provide healthy fats which can lower cholesterol and build a strong heart. Not only are they yummy and easy to make, these healthy bars will make your body feel good, too!


  • ½ cup chopped raw almonds
  • ½ cup dried tart cherries
  • 1 tablespoon almond butter
  • ½ cup puffed rice cereal
  • ¼ cup pumpkin seeds
  • 1 cup chopped raw cashews
  • ¼ cup semi-sweet chocolate chunks
  • ⅛ teaspoon sea salt
  • 1 tablespoon whole golden flaxseeds
  • ¼ cup brown rice syrup

9. Pumpkin Protein Bars

With ingredients as decadent as these, you would never believe these bars were healthy! Perfect for all the pumpkin-lovers in the world, these delicious protein bars by Jennifer Meyering are sure to be a breakfast favorite!


  • 1/2 cup Truvia brown sugar blend
  • 1 1/2 tsp ground ginger
  • 2 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 4 egg whites
  • 1 (15 oz) can pumpkin purée
  • 2 cups oat flour*
  • 3/4 cup vanilla protein powder
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened almond milk

10. Thin Mint Granola Bars

Take a look at these thin mint granola bars made by Inside Bru Crew Life. With just one glance, you would know these breakfast babies are delicious. The mint and chocolate go really well together! We’re sure one bar isn’t enough. You’ll probably eat another.


  • 3/4 cup butter, softened
  • 3/4 cup brown sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla
  • 1 1/2 cups flour
  • 2 1/2 cups quick oats
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon shortening, divided
  • 2 cups crushed Thin Mint cookies (or Keebler Grasshoppers)
  • 1/2 cup green candy melts
  • 1/2 cup chocolate chips

A budget-friendly casserole made with eggplant, tomatoes, beef, eggs, almond milk, & parsley. #HealthyRecipes

— Homemade Recipes (@BestHomeRecipes) June 21, 2017

11. Apple Pie Oatmeal Bars

These apple pie oatmeal bars by Not Enough Cinnamon are just what you need to get your engine started! Pair this with a cup of freshly brewed coffee and your good to go. Or use these as toppings to homemade frozen yogurt. It can work.


  • 3/4 cup coconut sugar (or brown sugar) – see notes
  • 1 1/2 cups old-fashioned rolled oats
  • 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour (you can also use all-purpose gluten-free flour) – see notes
  • 3/4 cup pecans, roughly chopped
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 7 oz – 200 g unsalted butter, chilled, cut into cubes
  • 1 tsp cinnamon

12. Blueberry Oatmeal Breakfast Bars

This breakfast bar made by Delightful E Made is like an oatmeal blueberry coffee cake in portable bar form. Loaded with juicy, ripe blueberries and topped with a brown sugar crumble, this breakfast bar redefines the phrase “healthy dessert.”


  • 2¼ c. Old Fashioned Oatmeal
  • 2¼ c. flour
  • 1½ c. brown sugar
  • 1 c. butter (2 sticks)
  • 1½ tsp. baking soda
  • ½ tsp. salt
  • 3 c. fresh or frozen blueberries
  • ¼ c. sugar
  • 1 Tbsp. cornstarch

13. Cherry Oatmeal Crumble Bars

Say hello to breakfast every morning with this easy to make, 4-ingredient recipe! And it doesn’t hurt that they look really pretty, right? Thanks again to Mom on Timeout for this recipe. You might want to try making your own nut milk so you can pair it with this crumble bar.


  • 1 package yellow cake mix
  • 2 ½ cups quick-cooking oats
  • ¾ cups butter, melted
  • 1 can cherry pie filling

14. Chocolate, Cashew, and Almond Bars

If you’re in the market for a raw energy bar, then this recipe from Sea Salt with Food is perfect for you. With ingredients like raw nuts, dates (nature’s fudge!), and shredded coconut, you’ll be inspired to eat raw 24/7!


  • 2 Cups (300g) Moist Medjool Dates, pitted and chopped
  • 2 Cups (280g) Raw Cashew Nuts
  • ½ Cup (60g) Raw Almond (without skin)
  • ¾ Cup (75g) Cocoa Powder
  • A Pinch of Sea Salt
  • ½ Cup (40g) Unsweetened Shredded Coconuts
  • 2 Tbsp Vanilla Extract
  • 2 to 3 Tbsp Cold Water

  • Six boxes with 5 packs each (4 biscuits per pack), 30 total packs, of belVita Blueberry Breakfast Biscuits
  • Crunchy blueberry biscuits made with delicious whole grains
  • Specially baked to release up to 4 hours of nutritious steady energy

15. Fruity Pebbles No-Bake Bars

C’mon, don’t these bars just make you smile? Kids love this recipe from Rachel Cooks and so will you! Start your day off right with a sweet bar that makes you happy just by looking at it.


  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter, plus additional to grease the pan
  • 8 cups mini marshmallows, divided
  • 6 cups fruity crisp rice cereal (or Fruity Pebbles)

16. Healthy Quinoa and Chocolate Chip Granola Bar Recipe

These bars by ifoodreal are the perfect in-between meals or post-gym snack. They’re quite filling as well as full of protein, vitamins, and minerals. And who knew quinoa and chocolate chips worked so well together?!


  • 1 cup quinoa
  • 1/2 cup steel cut oats (or sub with quick oats)*
  • A cup + 3/4 cup quick oats
  • 1/2 cup almonds, coarsely chopped**
  • 1/2 cup flax seed, ground
  • 2 – 3 large or 1/2 cup egg whites
  • 1/2 cup chocolate chips
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • Cooking spray
  • 1/2 cup brown rice syrup or honey, warmed up if necessary
  • 1/2 cup coconut oil, melted

17. Apple Cinnamon Breakfast Bars

The smell alone is enough to put a smile on your face. This is what the apple cinnamon breakfast bars do to you. Now bite into it and be transported to those happy days when mom’s baked goods were the only things that mattered. Be sure to try out this recipe by The Lean Green Bean.


  • ½ c peanut butter
  • ¾ c Skim milk
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • ¼ c applesauce
  • ¼ c honey
  • A cup grated apple (squeezed to remove moisture)
  • 1½ c rolled oats
  • ¼ c white whole wheat flour
  • An egg
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp cinnamon

18. Banana Oatmeal Breakfast Bars

You definitely have most, if not all, of the ingredients in your pantry already. If so, make this delicious bar by Crazy for Crust now! You won’t regret it. Unless you’re one of those people who regret eating an entire batch of goods once they’re done.


  • 1/4 cup vegetable or coconut oil
  • 1/4 cup packed brown sugar
  • 2 medium bananas (spotted ones that are a little past the prime)
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • A large egg
  • 1/2 cup whole wheat flour
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • A cup of old-fashioned oats
  • 1/4 cup white chocolate chips, optional
  • 1 tablespoon peanut butter, optional

19. No-Bake Granola Bars with Peanut Butter

This breakfast bar recipe by Darabee might just become your family’s next favorite go-to meal. The coconut milk adds a decadent creaminess which you have to taste to believe.


  • 5 cups ( 450g ) uncooked oatmeal (quick oats)
  • 1 1/3 cups ( 340g ) peanut butter
  • 1 cup ( 250ml ) coconut cream or milk
  • 3 tbsp honey

20. Coconut Cacao Nib Breakfast Bar

If you’re looking for a recipe that’s good for you, this homemade breakfast bar from Living Healthy with Chocolate got you covered. We love cacao nibs! They’re crunchy and bitter, so definitely keep that in mind when making these bars. One thing we like to do is freeze the nibs beforehand.


  • 1/2 cup unsweetened, shredded coconut, lightly toasted
  • 1/3 cup vanilla whey protein powder
  • 2 cups almond flour
  • 1/4 cup granulated erythritol
  • 1/2 cup cacao nibs
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 2 eggs, lightly beaten
  • 1/3 cup coconut oil, melted
  • 1/4 cup almond milk
  • 12 drops stevia extract

21. Frozen Blueberry Breakfast Bars

A grab-and-go breakfast treat that is a definite must-try. If your kids had trouble getting up for school before, they won’t anymore with this homemade breakfast bar by Betty Crocker around!


  • 2 1/2 cups Cascadian Farm® organic oats & honey granola
  • 1/4 cup butter, melted
  • 3 containers (5.3 oz each) Yoplait® Greek blueberry yogurt
  • 1/4 cup fresh blueberries
  • 2 tablespoons Cascadian Farm® organic oats & honey granola, coarsely crushed

22. Spinach-Quinoa Breakfast Bars

Sometimes, savory breakfast bars just don’t get the play they deserve. So, to honor their rich goodness, we had to end the list with this delicious spinach-quinoa bar by Power Hungry. While this bar makes a great breakfast, it can also double as a wonderful lunch!


  • 1 cup quinoa
  • 1 16-oz bag frozen chopped spinach, thawed (feel free to thaw in a microwave)
  • 2 teaspoons olive oil
  • 1 cup nonfat cottage cheese
  • 2 large eggs
  • 3 to 4 green onions, chopped (3 if they are very large, as mine were)
  • ½ tsp fine sea salt
  • ¼ tsp freshly ground black pepper

Learn how to make a homemade breakfast bar in this video from Food Wishes:

Breakfast is the most important meal of the day, so stop skimping and start making these homemade breakfast bar recipes. Make them during your spare time, store them in your fridge, and you will have a go-to breakfast on busy days. If the morning isn’t already your favorite time of day, it will be with these homemade breakfast bar recipes!

Which of these homemade breakfast bar recipes are you going to try first? Share your experience with us by writing a comment below!

Don’t forget to keep in touch, foodies!

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Editor’s Note: This post was originally published on September 6, 2017, and has been updated for quality and relevancy.

Here are a few kitchen tools that I suggest using to ensure your homemade granola bars come out perfect:

    – This is the one I use and love! I have had mine for years and it is one of my favorite kitchen tools. I use it all the time to quickly mix ingredients and to make sauces and dips. – This is a 3-piece set that is great for combining ingredients. The bowls nest together, so they are super easy to store. – This pan is the perfect size for this recipe. It also works beautifully for making brownies and cake.

If you make this Healthy Nut-Free Granola Bars recipe, let me know! Leave a comment with a star rating ★ below, because I love hearing from you! ♡

To make a creamy version of the Blue Hawaiian swap out the coconut rum for white rum and add 1/2 ounce of cream of coconut. For this version, I would suggest mixing in a cocktail shaker and pouring over the ice.

Find this recipe and more at the Weekend Potluck!

7. Shakeology Chocolate Peanut Butter Oat Bars

Grab one of these Chocolate Shakeology Peanut Butter Oat Bars for a quick protein pick-me-up that tastes like a brownie.

What you’ll need:

  • 2 scoops Chocolate Whey Shakeology
  • ½ cup dry rolled oats
  • ½ cup all-natural peanut butter
  • ½ large ripe banana, mashed
  • Nonstick cooking spray

Frequently Asked Questions

How to Store Protein Bars

These protein bars are meant to be stored in the fridge as they will get soft at room temperature. Keep them in an airtight container and enjoy them cold. They’ll stay fresh for about a week.

Can you Freeze Homemade Protein Bars

It’s easy to freeze homemade Perfect Bars to make them last longer. You’ll need to wrap each bar in Saran Wrap and store them in a ziploc container. Frozen protein bars will stay good for up to 6 months! Just thaw them in the fridge or on the counter for a couple hours before eating.